New Delhi: Raising the issue of strike by pilots of Air India in the Rajya Sabha, a Congress member on Wednesday said frequent strikes were creating a bad atmosphere and sending wrong signals to the international community about the national carrier.

Ram Chandra Khuntia said during Zero Hour that even after a big financial package was given to Air India, salaries of pilots and other staff were not paid and passengers were facing serious problems.

"It is not convincing that even after a big financial package, the strike is continuing...it is creating a bad atmosphere and sending wrong messages to the international community," he said.

He said, "the tax payer's money is given to run Air India ...the HR department of Air India has failed to resolve the situation" and pilots have resorted to a strike.

"Derecognition of the Union and suspension of pilots is not a permanent solution. A long term settlement of the issue be done," he said, questioning whether the strike was due to the fault of the pilots or the HR department of Air India.

"Why are there frequent strikes...Why arrears of pilots and other staff not given...Whether it is pilots' fault or that of HR department of Air India. Who has failed...Whether it is the ego of HR officials or attempts to benefit private airlines," he said.

The issue brought various members from the Left including Tapan Kumar Sen and BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad on their feet. "It is a a very serious matter," Prasad said.

(Agencies)

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